Playing its first regular-season game, Wiregrass Ranch felt like it had a lot to prove coming in against River Ridge on Monday night.
The Royal Knights, who started the season 2-0 and boast 6-foot-8 phenom John Childs as their centerpiece, seemed like an even opponent for the Bulls, who last season scored more than 100 points twice.
The Bulls used a up-tempo attack, led by Rico Kerney's 22 points, en route to a 81-47 win against the Royal Knights.
"We saw in the paper that River Ridge was an up-and-coming team and I said to the guys, 'We didn't go anywhere,' " Wiregrass Ranch coach Jeremy Calzone said. "We're going to prove that we're a good team and that is how you start."
From the opening tip, Wiregrass Ranch's fast pace proved too much for River Ridge's halfcourt style and Kerney (five rebounds, three steals) led the charge early by slamming down a thunderous alley-oop on a perfect pass from Larrentz Manora (13 points).
River Ridge (2-1) committed 10 turnovers in the initial quarter and could never find a way to chip away at its deficit, with Wiregrass Ranch seemingly nailing a run-stopping 3-pointer each time.
Childs received double and even triple teams every time down in the post area and was held to 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
"Our preseason was a bit shaky," Kerney said. "Coach Calzone gave us a speech earlier this week and told us we had to start off on a clean slate for our home opener. We came out strong."